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Image credit: Kieron Connolly

Værker af Kieron Connolly

A-Z of dinosaurs (2016) 49 eksemplarer
Abandoned Civilisations (2018) 19 eksemplarer
Abandoned Castles (2017) 18 eksemplarer
Övergivna slott (2019) 3 eksemplarer
Forests (Wonders of Our Planet) (2022) 3 eksemplarer
I Ching Illustrated (2023) 2 eksemplarer

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The History of Hollywood by Kieron Connolly is a book with potential in the right hands, but those hands don't belong to Connolly.

This history is not a film history or cinema history, nor does it claim to be, but a history of the sensationalistic side of the industry. Things that, when about current events, are called gossip but as we move further back in time, and more facts are known, become simply a history of the personal and industry flaws. Nothing more and nothing less. Some of the things impacted film history, most are just footnotes. It is, however, all quite interesting.

This isn't so much an attempt to uncover new information but to gather the various stories and rumors together into a single narrative about the underbelly of the film industry. As such the useful aspect is placing these events in relation to each other. What trends, if any, seemed to present themselves? How did what was happening in society at large affect what was happening behind the scenes? The book succeeds to a large extent in this regard.

But Connolly is an annoying writer who insults both the memories of the stars as well as his readers. I am just going to concentrate on one section, namely because he chose to capitalize on Marilyn Monroe's image to entice people to look at his book. First, in this section, he goes out of his way to cite only those sources that denigrate Monroe. When he uses the famous shot with Monroe's billowing skirt to go off about "Knickers," he calls grown women girls. Connolly has been an editor, and editors have to know what is current usage and what is considered insulting, which means this was a choice on his part. Must have to compensate for his shortcomings, I guess. Since he is a boy (I assume if calling a grown woman a girl is acceptable he doesn't mind being called by his mental and emotional label, a boy) I guess maybe it is okay. Then, just to make sure he slams her as much as possible before putting her on his book cover, he claims "[a]part from Some Like It Hot...none of her films is screened much or even rated that highly." The same AFI list that has Some Like It Hot rated number one also has The Seven Year Itch rated number fifty-one. I guess Connolly knows better than AFI about films. And of course Gentlemen Prefer Blondes doesn't have an iconic scene that has been referenced in everything from music videos to other films, not to mention Fassbinder calls it one of the 10 best films ever. But again, Connolly is to be trusted more. NOT!! His misogyny is showing big time, which makes every single comment in this book unreliable.

While I would still recommend this to many readers, I would suggest they use it as a timeline then find reliable sources to get any actual stories or background. Connolly is unreliable and sexist, at best.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
… (mere)
pomo58 | Feb 27, 2023 |
Forests by Kieron Connolly is yet another beautiful coffee table book from Amber Books. As usual, great photographs and wonderful tidbits of information.

I have a special fondness for these types of books. I read mostly nonfiction and often on serious topics, so I view these books as an escape. The best give me the visual experience I want as well as enough information, whether in captions or limited text, to let me explore online some of the places (or in other books the things). Forests does these things very well.

While the photography varies quite well, from aerials of large expanses to tightly framed images of specific examples or locations, I was particularly taken by several of the aerial shots that looked directly down on the forest, giving each tree a kind of appearance we miss when we are walking under the canopy. There is a type of symmetry from above that gets lost from side or even bottom views. Plus, of course, the large vista shots were spectacular.

I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys large format books that are great for display as well as flipping through.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
… (mere)
pomo58 | Jun 5, 2022 |
A beautifully photographed book of abandoned castles from all over the world. The author describes over 100 of them. I never knew there were so many!
From childhood dreams of living in a castle as a knight or king, to today, when my dreams have reformed into the fantasy of rebuilding one, I have always felt myself drawn to castles. I always assumed that one would have to live in France or England to explore a castle. Wrong! From the U.S. to Canada, Russia to Hungary, the author has found abandoned castles all over the world.
The book is light on text, heavy on photographs. Just the perfect book to browse through on a cold winter day!
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me an advance reader copy of this book. And to the author, for reigniting old dreams!
… (mere)
1Randal | Jan 7, 2020 |
Absolutely stunning photos of about 100 or so abandoned places. It makes me what to go Urban Exploring which unfortunately can be dangerous and illegal in some places. It also is a lovely "coffee table" type book.
1 stem
melsmarsh | 2 andre anmeldelser | May 22, 2018 |

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